England's Pietersen August 14, 2012

Pietersen apologises to the ECB

David Hopps and George Dobell

Kevin Pietersen has apologised to the ECB over the derogatory text messages that he sent about members of the England dressing room to South Africa players in a last-ditch attempt to gain forgiveness and be selected for World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka.

Pietersen and his representatives were waiting on Tuesday evening for the ECB to respond to his gesture with Saturday's deadline for naming England's World Twenty20 party looming ever closer.

The apology presumably constituted an admission of guilt and as such leaves him at risk of a heavy fine, a suspension or both. If England's managing director, Hugh Morris, continues to pursue a hard line it could automatically rule him out of a tournament in which he desperately wants to take part.

The ECB would make no official comment on Tuesday night, perhaps recognising that leaks in the past have been unhelpful in the reconciliation process.

ESPNcricinfo understands a decision, nevertheless, is expected on Wednesday, at which point extensive statements from both sides can be anticipated. There was a growing sense at Lord's of the need to settle the issue before the final Test against South Africa at Lord's which begins on Thursday. England, 1-0 down in the series, need to win the Test to retain their status as the No 1 Test side in the world.

The ECB have failed to make Pietersen available for Surrey in their vital relegation championship match against Middlesex, at the Oval, beginning on Wednesday, as both parties recognised that it would be inappropriate as confidential negotiations were reaching a delicate stage.

The decision for the ECB was when to replace punishment with rehabilitation.

In another development in the Pietersen soap opera, Stuart Broad issued a statement denying any part in the creation of a parody Twitter account that so infuriated Pietersen and led him to suspect that his England team-mates were secretly deriding him.

Broad, the England Twenty20 International captain, and Alex Hales, who took Pietersen's place at the top of the order in England's T20 side, were both alleged to have been involved in the account by Pietersen's friend, the chatshow host Piers Morgan.

The real creator of the parody account, Richard Bailey, came forward on Monday and not only apologised for the trouble he had caused, but clarified that he had worked alone. While Bailey is a friend of Broad and Hales, all parties insist that no professional players were in any way involved either in setting up the account or supplying information.

"Following last night's statement by Mr Richard Bailey that he was responsible for creating a parody Twitter account in Kevin Pietersen's name, I would like to confirm that I had no involvement in this whatsoever," Broad said

"I met with the Managing Director, England Cricket, Hugh Morris this morning and assured him that I did not play any role in the creation of this account or provide Mr Bailey with any information regarding Kevin Pietersen or the England team.

"As has been widely reported Mr Bailey is a friend of mine, but we had no conversations regarding this issue at all and I am pleased that he has now decided to close the parody account down."

Broad's words echo the results of an ESPNcricinfo investigations last week that identified the creator of the parody account, but found no evidence that any England player had been actively involved in it at any stage. That information was communicated to senior officials of the ECB.

Morris added: "Having discussed this matter with Stuart, I am fully satisfied that he acted in a professional manner at all times and did not breach any confidences regarding fellow England players.

"ECB also accepts the apology Mr Bailey offered last night to the England team via his Twitter account and his re-assurances that no professional cricketers were involved in the creation of this site."

David Hopps is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo and George Dobell is senior correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • John on August 16, 2012, 20:23 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem - I agree with you re KP esp the fact that no one can really judge how harsh or just ECB are being with KP without knowing the content of those texts My view is that it must be pretty severe.Remember KP said things about "Not being looked after" etc about ECB and they still picked him for the 1st 2 SA tests so if they did not drop him over that it must be way worse.Re Broad I really can't believe he deliberately tried to hit the guy.Why would he risk half his match fee?Also I think I have seen bowlers hit a batsman before and I'm sure they do it to just miss the batsmen which if it hit the guy on the shoulder must indicate it nearly missed My domestic team Somerset have a fiery bowler called Steve Kirby. Under frustration , he threw the ball wildly after following through and it was so wild it beat the WK who had no chance and gave away 4. He laughed about it afterwards but for a split seciond.. Also I think Broad has mellowed/matured in the last year or so.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 14:39 GMT

    @JG2704: Many pacers threaten with the ball I suppose, Broad's fault was actually hitting the man, and that I can't believe happens by mistake, especially when the target would be trying to get out of the way. As for KP, he has Afridi's expertise for making people love him, (though this transgression is thus far beyond even Afridi.) Major case facts are missing here. From what I read, people can't make up their minds whether it was a hot-blooded rant or a cold-blooded strategic aid. The former is stupid but the latter is unforgivable.

  • John on August 16, 2012, 13:51 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem on (August 16 2012, 10:50 AM GMT) - Thanks for the link there. Indeed it was the shoulder as you admitted afterwards.TBH , that sort of incident - where a frustrated bowler throws the ball in the close proximity of a batsman - is not that uncommon and not something exclusive to Eng bowlers and certainly not exclusive to Broad. It is not often that a bowler actually hits/injures the batsman when such an incident takes place and the bowler almost always regrets/acknowledges this straight away as I'm sure Broad would have done straight away. I would not condone such behaviour but doing something in the heat of battle is totally different from doing something (away from the field) which could upset fellow team mates. As I said in another post if someone had a problem with me I'd prefer them to have a go at me to my face.To hear bad talked about you from others leads to trust issues on top of an unhappy environment

  • Roo on August 16, 2012, 11:25 GMT

    @JG2704... re: Twitter = IRC - popular with us Linux users... With over 500 million active users, it would be incredibly unlikely for me to join your brand new account, being 1st on the 1st day it was set up without prior knowledge... It is highly unlikely that a number of friends & cricketers would all join independently a tweet (of a friend) first without knowing about it, an account that is derogatory to KP & set up in the middle of a Eng v SA Test series, & written books stating poor opinions of KP... Winning lotto has easier odds than what happened... It doesn't stack up imho & regardless of who was the target...

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 10:50 GMT

    @JG2704 : it was the notorious 2010 tour, and zulqarnain himself didnt do us any favours by absconding later in the year from Dubai, but It is hard to forget an innings like that when your team has forgotten which end of the bat to hold, and Broad wasn't happy with that defiance. Sorry my mistake, the finger injury was unrelated. It hit Zulqarnain's shoulder: http://www.espncricinfo.com/england-v-pakistan-2010/content/story/471723.html

  • John on August 16, 2012, 9:00 GMT

    @Aina Maria Waseem on (August 16 2012, 08:24 AM GMT) Sorry , who is this player Broad broke the finger of and when?

  • John on August 16, 2012, 8:59 GMT

    @SuperKing.Cobra on (August 15 2012, 13:26 PM GMT) Surely by KP is saying that he wants to fully commit to England at the expense of playing a full IPL is either saying that ECB pays the better wage or KP prefers playing for England and if (a huge IF) your post is correct , then maybe KP likes being badly treated .

  • Nick on August 16, 2012, 8:37 GMT

    @ Front Foot Lunge... i believe the only team you have whitewashed which is winning all tests in a series not winning the series in the last 3 years is India

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 8:24 GMT

    Btw, regarding Broad. Its unquestionable that KP has had issues with too many teams to be inexcusable. However, Broad got disgusted into throwing a ball at Zulqarnain and broke his finger just because he dared to defy the bowling and stuck on for 88 runs despite being a hopeless batsman, through sheer determination and will power; not to mention staring games. I don't recall KP throwing that kind of tantrum, which is frankly more "childish". KP has all the faults in the world but those faults certainly get noticed more than Broad's childish tantrums, which aren't always harmless. If anybody should be an example to them, it's probably Alastair Cook, not someone like Broad, who has apparently been a goody-two-shoes via his latest statement.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2012, 5:35 GMT

    Anyway now time has come to focus on the fourth test! You Kevin Pietersen... Bring on your support to your team, England......

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